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As the Fourth of July weekend draws near, I start thinking celebration.

I think of the colors of red, white and blue. I think of looking to
the skies to see the bombs bursting in air in full color, lighting up
the night sky. I think of patriotic songs like “Stars and Stripes
Forever” and the armed forces’ themes.

Fourth of July celebrations have always been a tradition in my
family. It usually features a backyard cookout and, during my
upbringing, hours of swimming in the family pool. As nightfall
approached, my dad would break out the sparklers, and my sisters and I
would twirl the lighted sticks around and around until they
extinguished. Other times we would head to Shamokin and watch the
fireworks from the city’s Weis parking lot.

Fireworks celebrations are a tradition for my own little family.
When I was nearly eight months pregnant, my husband and I watched the
fireworks display in Ashland, called “Thunder Over Ashland,” at the
town’s Memorial Field. I can still recall propping up on my elbows on a
blanket and the two of us looking up to watch the display. As the booms
began, the baby in my belly began to kick wildly.

I believe from that experience, as well as telling Amber about the
“booms” since she was a baby, that she’s not afraid of the loud sounds
that result from the displays. She looks forward to the fireworks every
year. We always go to Ashland, but we try and hit as many other
displays as we can.

Whatever you do this Fourth of July weekend, do it safely. Celebrate
together as a family, and if you don’t have any holiday traditions for
this summer celebration, start some of your own.

Happy Fourth!